adbl_ms_membershipImage_includedwith_altText_B076FLV3HT
adbl_ms_membershipImage_includedwith_altText_B076FLV3HT

1 audiobook of your choice.
Stream or download thousands of included titles.
$14.95 a month after 30 day trial. Cancel anytime.
Buy for $19.95

Buy for $19.95

Pay using card ending in
By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Amazon's Privacy Notice. Taxes where applicable.

Publisher's Summary

Ishmael Reed's inspired fable of the ragtime era, in which a social movement threatens to suppress the spread of black culture - hailed by Harold Bloom as one of the 500 greatest books of the Western canon

In 1920s America, a plague is spreading fast. From New Orleans to Chicago to New York, the "Jes Grew" epidemic makes people desperate to dance, overturning social norms in the process. Anyone is vulnerable and when they catch it, they'll bump and grind into a frenzy. Working to combat the Jes Grew infection are the puritanical Atonists, a group bent on cultivating a "Talking Android", an African American who will infiltrate the unruly black communities and help crush the outbreak. But PaPa LaBas, a houngan voodoo priest, is determined to keep his ancient culture - including a key spiritual text - alive.   

Spanning a dizzying host of genres, from cinema to academia to mythology, Mumbo Jumbo is a lively ride through a key decade of American history. In addition to ragtime, blues, and jazz, Reed's allegory draws on the Harlem Renaissance, the Back to Africa movement, and America's occupation of Haiti. His style throughout is as avant-garde and vibrant as the music at its center.

©1972 Ishmael Reed (P)2020 Audible, Inc.

What listeners say about Mumbo Jumbo

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    23
  • 4 Stars
    2
  • 3 Stars
    2
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    1
Performance
  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    22
  • 4 Stars
    2
  • 3 Stars
    1
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0
Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    20
  • 4 Stars
    1
  • 3 Stars
    3
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    1

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Great Selection!!!!

The language and the style of this book was really amazing and I think it was narrated very well truly truly enjoyable thank you.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Interesting for Political & Cultural Influence

Interesting Period Piece, told in the “Negro” Slang of the 1920’s, notable in the fact that it was written by a MacArthur Genius Grant Recipient, Pulitzer and National Book Award Nominee and Black Activist Poet and Essayist.
Mumbo Jumbo is a wild fever dream that spans countries, movements and centuries declaiming the attempts by the Powers That Be to suppress the Real Black Culture of music and dance and transform Blacks to docile slaves of the dominant White Culture.

It drops the names and events of the time combining them all with Ancient African myths and traditions to warn African-Americans of the threat to their essence. For those readers unfamiliar with all the references the book is better skimmed for its tone and rhythm since it is difficult to follow. Best appreciated when accompanied by recreational herbs and/or chemicals.

While Harold Bloom included Mumbo Jumbo in his Western Canon of 500 Books, I’m pretty sure that was a gesture of respect for the Author’s Cause rather than for its literary merit. Three Stars.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

my favorite book

this is one of my all-time favorite allegory, straightforwardness comprised in this novel is one of a kind